Putin has lost any lingering sympathy he might have still had in the West; he has exposed himself as a dangerous man playing a nasty game tinged with nationalism, he has ostracised himself from the global community. Alone in the UN Security Council, excluded from the Big Table by G7. But his version of the Russian Narrative still plays well at home.
Bit by bit, the shutters will come down on the Russian economy. The West will redouble its efforts to build up energy independence (US gas exports, shale gas exploration in Europe, greater investment in renewable energy), and Western investors in Russia will be preparing themselves for a haircut. Sanctions against individuals will take hold, matched by retaliations from Moscow. But at the end of the day, the Russian economy will hurt first. Russia's dependence on EU as a market for its raw materials and as a source of foreign investment is much greater than the EU's dependence on Russia.
The main reason is that apart from Kalashnikovs, vodka and matryoshka dolls, Russia doesn't make very much. Its industries are run down; what modern factories there are belong to foreign investors like Volkswagen or Ford. Existing investments may keep on going for a while, but major new Western investments will quickly dry up.
Some oligarchs will jump ship, taking stock of the situation to hang onto their London or Monte Carlo-based wealth. Russia's already experiencing a major capital flight - this will intensify in coming weeks. Those that don't jump are too involved in Putin's web and may be on a sanctions shortlist.
In the longer term, can Russia afford to maintain its military and its vast disinformation army (take a look at the comments section of any opinion-making English-language news websites to see the scale of this) as it finds itself increasingly cut off from global markets?
In the Far East, Russia is weak and unprotected. China is playing a clever game, maintaining silence when it comes to criticising Putin's play. Across the Amur, great wealth lies.
You can win a protracted industrial-era war by herding slaves into factories and get them to produce more tanks, more cannon, more ammunition - but you can't herd slaves to write you better software. Conflict has moved on. In one respect, Putin's slick propaganda machine still needs to be matched - there are too many unwitting dupes of Moscow around, retweeting the latest from some Kremlin Lord Haw-haw.
The next steps - a lot of conciliatory talk from Putin, a lot of talk of self-restraint (for Western audiences), while across Ukraine ugly things will continue to happen, mostly stirred up or initiated directly by the Kremlin and its agents.
In the past, smiling images of Mr Putin would mitigate some of the underhand activities going on (Chechnya, Georgia), but now, he's lost it. No charm offensive on his part will be able to take things back to the way they were in 2013. Western analysts and commentators have uncovered the Putin agenda - imperial, nationalistic, revanchist; a direct threat to the European Union as a repository of civilised values, civil society and strong, transparent institutions.
I lived the first 34 years of my life in the Cold War. It looks like Cold War II is dawning. For those too young to remember the first one, life went on pretty much as normal, though with the ever-present nuclear Sword of Damocles hanging over us. How do today's events in Ukraine feel in Poland? I guess similar to what it felt like in West Germany when the Warsaw Pact entered Czechoslovakia in 1968.
If a new Iron Curtain will descend, Poland will be on the right side of it this time, along with nine other former communist countries now within the structures of NATO and the EU. Ukraine may end up split, with a West Ukraine a neutral country like Finland and Austria ended up after WWII. Belarus will become strategic for Russia, a land bridge to the Kaliningrad oblast. Lukashenka will be drawn, whether he likes it or not, deeper and deeper into the Kremlin's maw; he will have no independent alternative. Estonia and Latvia will need to keep a close watch on their Russian populations, to ensure that these don't provoke Putin to try his chances there too. That's NATO territory - that would be extremely unwise.
Putin's 61 - the same age Stalin was in 1939. A dangerous age.
This time last year:
Random sentiments from London suburbs
This time two years ago:
This time three years ago:
[Easter was very late]
This time four years ago:
Afternoon-dusk-night in the city centre
This time five years ago:
A particularly harrowing reality
This time six years ago:
Wetlands waiting for the spring